Report No FR0268



March 1992



The aim of this work was to identify the current status of quality assurance relating to reinstatement within the UK water industry, and to determine what steps would be needed to introduce a quality assurance scheme for reinstatement. Any problems identified were to be highlighted and possible solutions proposed. The work supports the preparation of guidance to the Water Industry in relation to reinstatement.


The New Roads and Street Works Act(l) makes new and stringent demands on utilities with respect to their reinstatement activities. The introduction of an appropriate quality assurance scheme would increase confidence that performance requirements could be met and would improve the chance of tracing and controlling any problems that arise. Quality assurance can also improve efficiency and cost effectiveness in the medium term and can enhance the public perception of the company. Many of the requirements of the New Roads and Street Works Act closely parallel the requirements of good quality assurance practice. This could facilitate the introduction of appropriate quality assurance schemes.


  1. Many of the requirements of a reinstatement quality assurance scheme are already in place, or are included in the New Roads and Street Works Act.
  2. Some of these requirements are covered by quality assurance schemes run outside the UK water industry.
  3. Contractors considered it preferable to introduce a quality assurance scheme for highway reinstatement as part of a more general scheme for all pipelaying activities, rather than in isolation.
  4. None of the contractors contacted was willing to take the initiative in introducing a quality assurance scheme but would respond to a customer-led requirement.
  5. If the UK water industry is to benefit from quality assured reinstatements, it must take the initiative and insist that its contractors and suppliers operate satisfactory schemes.


  1. A quality assurance scheme for contractors working in reinstatement should be prepared and promoted within the Water Industry. Any such scheme should comply with BS 5750(2) or equivalent and must take into account the requirements of the New Roads and Street Works Act.
  2. Where possible, the developed quality assurance scheme for reinstatement should be extended to include pipeline activities other than reinstatement.
  3. The UK Water Industry should also require their own direct labour organisations to demonstrate compliance to BS 5750 or equivalent for reinstatement and related activities.
  4. The introduction of any such scheme should have support at a senior level within the water industry.


The potential advantages of quality assurance in reinstatement are pointed out and basic quality assurance terms and concepts are explained. There then follows a summary of the current situation which includes the response of a number of interested parties to a questionnaire. The situation is then discussed and recommendations made.

Copies of the report are available from FWR, price 15.00, less 20% to FWR Members.